The topic of the term paper is children of divorced parents. We will look at how divorce affects children from a variety of age groups and genders as well as how they are affected during and after the divorce. There is not a lot of history of research and study surrounding this particular topic. Most has been within the past two decades. Which make sense, since the divorce rate has skyrocketed in very recent history. We will start by examining the affects that the actual divorce process has on children. During this traumatic time, children will tend to pick up on all of the negative behaviors that the parents are exuding. Parental discord can actually be more disturbing to a child than parental nonexistence through the divorce. Parental conflict plays a key role in the child’s well being. The effects of marital disturbance on children vary according to the amount of marital conflict that existed prior to the divorce. Part of the reason that for the above is that parents occupied in conflicts are less reliable in the discipline they provide, and they have distorted bonds of a connection with their children, therefore they serve as models for harmful behavior for their children, which then puts the children under emotional and cognitive strain. For some children this can cause immediate negative effects, which can include inferior emotional adjustment, and becoming more anxious. Also children experiencing their parents discord can become more likely to exhibit signs of disinterest in school than those who are in a lower conflict family. Marital disturbance appears to be linked with behavioral and affective changes, rather than with changes in more cognitive phenomena like aspirations and grades.
Children of divorced parents have reported that the parents tend to have a lower educational expectation of them. Whereas when they were in a united state, it would not be ok for a child to just do average or below average. Along with this there is a noted decrease in monitoring of school and social activities. This typically happens more so of the father than the mother.
As the divorce progresses and the family separates, the trouble with school can also extend from the financial difficulties the single parent inherits when divorced. For example, income differences account for between 30 and 50 percent of the overall difference in high school graduation rates. Also, with the decrease in income, this can cause residential mobility which then disrupts the children’s social ties, and academic activities. In earlier years when the divorce rate sky-rocketed to an all-new high it was usually the mother that always received primary guardianship over the child or children and the fathers typically only had minimal visitation, usually 4 times a month. Back then father’s were believed to have more of a “minor” role in the lives of the children. They went by a Psychoanalytic theory that basically stated the exclusive importance of the mother was detrimental in early child development and focused exclusively on the mother and children and what harm was caused if there was early separation between them. There was also a belief that the children would be harmed psychologically if they had more than one home.
Though over the past 30 years the outcome of custody arrangements hasn’t changed much and the mother typically receives primary care giver status, it has been
shown that it is much more helpful in the short and long term for the child if both the mother and the father can share custody as well as functions with everyday life, rules, school functions and so on. Sometimes fathers will automatically fail to maintain a good relationship with their children and sometimes it is for other reasons. They either re- marry and have more children and or there is too much conflict and tension between the father and the mother. Another culprit is the fact that...